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Domestic violence charity Women's Aid has spoken out to defend Roxanne Palette in light of the Celebrity Big Brother 'abuse; row, in which she accused Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas of 'punching her repeatedly in the ribs'.
The charity has issued a statement in which it defends the former Emmerdale actress, urging the public not to accuse Roxanne of 'overreacting'. Roxanne has since admitted she got her accusations 'wrong', after watching the clip at home.
Footage showed Ryan play fighting with Roxanne, but she went on to accuse him of punching her 'deliberately', asking Big Brother to remove him from the house.
Women's Aid spokesperson, Sian Hawkins, said: "Play fighting may not seem serious but if you have been in an abusive relationship it can seem frightening and even trigger memories of the abuse.
"Domestic abuse means you don't feel safe in your home environment, and as a woman who has previously spoken about being in a violent and abusive relationship, Roxanne clearly did not feel comfortable going to sleep in the same room as someone who had physically hurt her, even if that was not his intention.
"An estimated 1.2 million women experienced domestic abuse last year alone; while you might not think you know someone who has experienced domestic abuse, it is highly likely that you do.
"That's why it is so important for us to show understanding and empathy for someone who is clearly upset by certain behaviours rather than blaming them for overreacting. For any survivors out there, you are not alone. Women's Aid is always here to listen to you, believe you and support you."
Roxanne has since broken her silence on The Jeremy Vine Show two days after quitting Celebrity Big Brother, where she addressed her accusations and her own experience of domestic violence.
She explained: "I've actually been a victim of domestic violence, years ago. I've spoken out about it, briefly. I've worked with Women's Aid because of my own experience and perhaps they were right in their recent comment that my reaction was perhaps a telltale sign of the fact that I have been in a situation like that.
"In my life, I have become conditioned to be over sensitive to things like that. I'm devastated, I would be mortified to think that even one person out there felt that I'd discredited or undermined abuse - because that is not my intention."
Featured Image Credit: Channel 5/Celebrity Big Brother
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